Cabinet to hold special meeting to outline plans for abortion referendum

Kerry Wise
January 30, 2018

When asked directly if he will campaign in favour of repealing the Eighth Amendment and to change Ireland's existing laws regarding abortion, the Taoiseach responded by saying "I'll be campaigning for them to be changed and to be liberalised, yes".

Speaking in Dublin tonight, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said: "We know that thousands of Irish women - from every county in Ireland - go overseas for abortions every year".

THE CABINET WILL meet today to set out the details of a referendum on Ireland's abortion laws.

The eighth amendment equates the life of a foetus in the womb with that of the mother.

The Taoiseach and his ministers are expected to collectively agree on the issues mentioned above.

Ireland's prime minister, Leo Varadkar, confirmed on Saturday that he will campaign for a yes vote.

Varadkar is also expected to brief opposition parties on the terms of the referendum, which will be drawn up by the country's attorney general, Séamus Woulfe.

Southampton 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur: Three match takeaways
One small problem with having a player as good as Christian Eriksen is what happens when you suddenly don't have him. He is one of the links between phases of play and is key in that regard.

Outlining his position on the contentious issue, the minister of state at the Department of Finance expressed concern about removing the article without knowledge of how the law might change as a outcome.

The Cabinet also agreed that the Referendum Bill should include wording to repeal the Eighth Amendment, and also wording to be added into the Constitution to enable the Oireachtas to legislate on this matter.

The law does not allow for terminations in cases of rape or incest, or when there is a foetal abnormality.

It is a view shared by Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin and Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald, who support a parliamentary committee's recommendations for unrestricted access to abortion for 12 weeks.

"If the referendum is passed, a doctor-led, safe and legal system for the termination of pregnancy will be introduced", he wrote on Twitter.

Both main parties remain divided, however, with many MPs taking different positions on the issue.